This year's 16th annual Latham PolishFest, hosted by the Blessed Virgin Mary of Czestochowa church on Old Maxwell Road, isn't just about Polish food and music.
Polish history and culture will be a big part of this year's event as well, including appearances by authors Greg Archer, William Kowalski and John Guzlowski. This year's event will be held Friday through Sunday, and admission is only $5.
Archer, a multi-faceted journalist whose work often spotlights television and the movies, will talk about his new book, "Grace Revealed." Taken in part from his only family story, Archer writes about the mass deportation of nearly two million Polish citizens by Russia's Joseph Stalin to the Siberian gulags in the 1940s.
Kowalski's latest book, "The Best Polish Restaurant in Buffalo," is a novel about a middle-aged woman who emigrates from rural Poland to Buffalo in 1908. Kowalski, who also produced "Eddie's Bastard" back in 1999, is the author of 13 novels, and has won the 2001 Ama-Boeke Award and the 2014 Thomas H. Raddal Award.
Guzlowski's book, "echoes of tattered tongues: memory unfolded," tells the story of one million immigrant families in America through the collage of poems and prose. Guzlowski's work is also largely about his own parents, who were taken as slave laborers by the Germans and barely survived World War II. Guzlowski's book won the 2017 Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Poetry and the 2017 Montaigne Model for Most-Thought-Provoking Book.
Also part of the weekend event will be a genealogy workshop by local genealogist John Szypulski, who will lead a seminar reviewing internet databases and resources for researching your Polish ancestry.
An exhibit prepared by Sara Zlotnick of Saratoga Springs, "The Partitioning of Poland and 100 Years of Independence," will be on display at the PolishFest, which will also offer cooking demonstrations, Slovak hand-craft demonstrations and Slovak Easter egg decorating.
As for the music, the Rymanowski Brothers will perform on Friday, Fritz's Polka Band and Tony's Polka Band on Saturday, and the Polka Brothers on Sunday. Polish folk dancing will be provided by the St. Adalbert's Dancers on Sunday.
Other musical options will include a Chopin Piano Concert, an evening of Lithuanian Solstice Celebration with Stanley and Barbara Chepaitis, Slavic Folk Music and a performance by the Spa City Viola/Violin Studio, a youth group based in Saratoga Springs.
For more information, visit www.polishfest-ny.org.